EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

09.16.11

Improper Conduct Identified as Cause for Disappointing Acceptance of FOSS in EU Authorities

Posted in Europe, Free/Libre Software at 12:23 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Like a rigged auction

Tickets in a basket

Summary: European watchdog on unfair procurement that excludes everything but Microsoft; more pressure on the UK government to pay attention to FOSS

DESPITE pressure from US politicians (see Cablegate cables like this one), the European Commission gave Microsoft something that it deserved for breaking laws. The Commission hardly punished Microsoft, but at least it tried; Microsoft fought back with lobbyists, smear campaigns, and other dubious moves, including PR/spin. But at the same time the Commission had problems of its own. It took had become a prisoner of Microsoft. We wrote about this in previous years, so we see no need to cover this again

The investigative journalist Mark Ballard has done a good job researching for his article “European Commission buys Microsoft for 20 years without competition”. To quote some key parts of the report:

The European Commission has been buying Microsoft software since 1993 without an open and public competition to assess alternative products, according to documents released to Computer Weekly.

As a result of striking its sixth successive uncontested deal with Microsoft in May this year, the Commission has ensured Microsoft will have dominated the desktop computing environment of European institutions for 20 years without allowing a single rival to compete for the business.

Documents released to Computer Weekly will raise questions about a procurement regime that allows a sole supplier to reign unchallenged for so long using legal exceptions meant only for extraordinary circumstances.

They will also raise questions about the validity of the official justifications the Commission used to secure its purchasing arrangements with Microsoft, called “negotiated procedures”, the last of which concerned approximately €50m of software licences for 36,000 PCs and their supporting infrastructure across 42 European institutions, including the European Parliament and Court of Justice.

Karsten Gerloff, president of lobby group Free Software Foundation Europe, said the ongoing Microsoft arrangement was a “disgrace” for the European Commission (EC).

[...]

Graham Taylor, chief executive of Open Forum Europe, a lobby group backed by Google, IBM, Oracle and Red Hat, said they treated the negotiated procedure with “extreme caution” and failed to understand why the Commission had used it to prevent competition in desktop software.

Hopefully articles like these will pressure for change.

Only recently we saw some reports on growing pressure for the UK government to actually fulfil its Open Source software promises. Here is another new article which addresses this same topic almost 2 weeks after it all began in the British press:

Following a number of freedom of information requests, it was recently revealed that government departments were ignoring open source in the face of proprietary software, despite promises by Cabinet Officer Francis Maude.

Maude had declared there would be a “level playing field” for open source as a way to slash public spending. Yet it is evident that significant sums are still finding their way into the pockets of big firms.

TechEye contacted Tom Watson who was keen to express his support for open source in government IT, and showing support on a parliamentary level to further its use. While there is clearly support for open source, why has it been so difficult to actually bring about the necessary changes?

Gerry Gavigan at the Open Source Consortium believes that the government has failed to put guidance in place which would ensure an environment where open source can thrive.

He told TechEye that the problem with open source is from a lack of force from the Cabinet Office in putting open standards and interoperability in place.

“When you look across government it is hard to see any strategic decisions being made,” he told us.

“The government needs to make an overriding decision on the implementation of open standards before open source software can gain a foothold. Without this using open source software can actually cost more.”

Good luck to Gerry Gavigan and others who do good work to make the UK more Free software tolerant. As it stands at the moment, the UK remains one of the most Free/open source software-hostile counties in Europe, based on some older ladders.

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

What Else is New


  1. CEN and CENELEC Agreement With the EPO Shows That It's Definitely the European Commission's 'Department'

    With headlines such as “EPO to collaborate on raising SEP awareness” it is clear to see that the Office lacks impartiality and the European Commission cannot pretend that the EPO is “dafür bin ich nicht zuständig” or “da kenne ich mich nicht aus”



  2. Decisions Made Inside the European Patent Organisation (EPO) Lack Credibility Because Examiners and Judges Lack Independence

    The lawless, merciless, Mafia-like culture left by Battistelli continues to haunt judges and examiners; how can one ever trust the Office (or the Organisation at large) to deliver true justice in adherence or compliance with the EPC?



  3. Team UPC Buries Its Credibility Deeper in the Grave

    The three Frenchmen at the top do not mention the UPC anymore; but those who promote it for a living (because they gambled on leveraging it for litigation galore) aren't giving up and in the process they perpetuate falsehoods



  4. The EPO Has Sadly Taken a Side and It's the Patent Trolls' Side

    Abandoning the whole rationale behind patents, the Office now led for almost a year by António Campinos prioritises neither science nor technology; it's all about granting as many patents (European monopolies) as possible for legal activity (applications, litigation and so on)



  5. Where the USPTO Stands on the Subject of Abstract Software Patents

    Not much is changing as we approach Easter and software patents are still fool's gold in the United States, no matter if they get granted or not



  6. Links 19/3/2019: Jetson/JetBot, Linux 5.0.3, Kodi Foundation Joins The Linux Foundation, and Firefox 66

    Links for the day



  7. Links 18/3/2019: Solus 4, Linux 5.1 RC1, Mesa 18.3.5, OSI Individual Member Election Won by Microsoft

    Links for the day



  8. Microsoft and Its Patent Trolls Continue Their Patent War, Including the War on Linux

    Microsoft is still preying on GNU/Linux using patents, notably software patents; it wants billions of dollars served on a silver platter in spite of claims that it reached a “truce” by joining the Open Invention Network and joining the LOT Network



  9. Director Iancu Generally Viewed as a Lapdog of Patent Trolls

    As Director of the Office, Mr. Iancu, a Trump appointee, not only fails to curb patent trolls; he actively defends them and he lowers barriers in order to better equip them with bogus patents that courts would reject (if the targets of extortion could afford a day in court)



  10. Links 17/3/2019: Google Console and IBM-Red Hat Merger Delay?

    Links for the day



  11. To Team UPC the Unified Patent Court (UPC) Has Become a Joke and the European Patent Office (EPO) Never Mentions It Anymore

    The EPO's frantic rally to the very bottom of patent quality may be celebrated by obedient media and patent law firms; to people who actually produce innovative things, however, this should be a worrisome trend and thankfully courts are getting in the way of this nefarious agenda; one of these courts is the FCC in Germany



  12. Links 16/3/2019: Knoppix Release and SUSE Independence

    Links for the day



  13. Stopping António Campinos and His Software Patents Agenda (Not Legal in Europe) Would Require Independent Courts

    Software patents continue to be granted (new tricks, loopholes and buzzwords) and judges who can put an end to that are being actively assaulted by those who aren't supposed to have any authority whatsoever over them (for decisions to be impartially delivered)



  14. The Linux Foundation Needs to Speak Out Against Microsoft's Ongoing (Continued) Patent Shakedown of OEMs That Ship Linux

    Zemlin actively thanks Microsoft while taking Microsoft money; he meanwhile ignores how Microsoft viciously attacks Linux using patents, revealing the degree to which his foundation, the “Linux Foundation” (not about Linux anymore, better described as Zemlin’s PAC), has been compromised



  15. Links 15/3/2019: Linux 5.0.2, Sublime Text 3.2

    Links for the day



  16. The EPO and the USPTO Are Granting Fake Patents on Software, Knowing That Courts Would Reject These

    Office management encourages applicants to send over patent applications that are laughable while depriving examiners the freedom and the time they need to reject these; it means that loads of bogus patents are being granted, enshrined as weapons that trolls can use to extort small companies outside the courtroom



  17. CommunityBridge is a Cynical Microsoft-Funded Effort to Show Zemlin Works for 'Community', Not Microsoft

    After disbanding community participation in the Board (but there are Microsoft staff on the Board now) the "Linux Foundation" (or Zemlin PAC) continues to take Microsoft money and polishes or launders that as "community"



  18. Links 14/3/2019: GNOME 3.32 and Mesa 19.0.0 Released

    Links for the day



  19. EPO 'Results' Are, As Usual, Not Measured Correctly

    The supranational monopoly, a monopoly-granting authority, is being used by António Campinos to grant an insane amount of monopolies whose merit is dubious and whose impact on Europe will be a net negative



  20. Good News Everyone! UPC Ready to Go... in 2015!

    Benoît Battistelli is no longer in Office and his fantasy (patent lawyers' fantasy) is as elusive as ever; Team UPC is trying to associate opposition to UPC with the far right (AfD) once again



  21. Links 13/3/2019: Plasma 5.15.3,Chrome 73 and Many LF Press Releases

    Links for the day



  22. In the Age of Trumpism EFF Needs to Repeatedly Remind Director Iancu That He is Not a Judge and He Cannot Ignore the Courts

    The nonchalance and carelessness seen in Iancu's decision to just cherry-pick decisions/outcomes (basically ignoring caselaw) concerns technologists, who rightly view him as a 'mole' of the litigation 'industry' (which he came from)



  23. Links 12/3/2019: Sway 1.0 Released, Debian Feuds Carry On

    Links for the day



  24. Microsoft is Complaining About Android and Chrome OS (GNU/Linux) Vendor Not Paying for Microsoft Patents (Updated)

    Microsoft, which nowadays does the patent shakedown against GNU/Linux by proxy, is still moaning about companies that don’t pay ‘protection’ money (grounds for antitrust action or racketeering investigation)



  25. Watchtroll Has Redefined "Trolls" to Mean Those Who Oppose Software Patents (and Oppose Trolls), Not Those Who Leverage These for Blackmail Alone

    The controversial change to 35 U.S.C. § 101 guidance is being opposed by the public (US citizens who oppose American software patents), so patent maximalists like Janal Kalis (“PatentBuddy”) and extremists like Gene Quinn (Watchtroll) want us to believe that the public is just “EFF” and cannot think for itself



  26. EPO's Latest 'Results' Show That António Campinos Has Already Given Up on Patent Quality and is Just Another Battistelli

    The patent-granting machine that the EPO has become reports granting growth of unrealistic scale (unless no proper examination is actually carried out)



  27. Links 11/3/2019: Linux 5.0.1, Audacity 2.3.1, GNU Coreutils 8.31

    Links for the day



  28. US Patent Law Currently Not Changing Much and Software Patents Are Still in Limbo

    Surveying the news, as we still meticulously do (even if we don't write about it), it seems clear that American courts hardly tolerate software patents and proponents of such patents are losing their voice (or morale)



  29. EPO Examiner: “I Have Been Against Software Patents and Eventually 3/4 of My Job is Examining Software Patent Applications.”

    Overworked examiners aren't being given the time, the tools and the freedom to reject patents, based on prior art, patent scope and so on; it is beginning to resemble a rubber-stamping operation, not an examining authority



  30. Europe Will Pay a High Price for Software Patents Advocacy by António Campinos in Europe's Patent-Granting Authority

    EPO President António Campinos — like Iancu at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) — is still promoting software patents in Europe even though such patents are clearly detrimental to Europe’s interests


CoPilotCo

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts